49ers’ Richard Sherman to return after 1 game out for hamstring injury

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Less than two weeks after suffering a Grade 2 right hamstring strain, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is set to return to the lineup after missing one game.

Sherman was a full participant in practice for the second day in a row Wednesday as the Niners prepare for Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. While Tuesday was a walk-through, Sherman went through an actual practice Wednesday without an issue.

“Yeah, I’ll be out there on Saturday,” Sherman said. “There’s no question. There’s nothing I need to show them. I have gone through practice. Today, we had a full speed practice with no tweaks, nothing to be concerned about on my end, so we feel comfortable about that, they feel comfortable about it.”

Sherman’s return comes in a week in which he was voted to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his career, the first with the Niners and his first bid since he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in November 2017 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

Now more than two years removed from the injury, Sherman has mostly regained his previous All-Pro form. In 13 games, Sherman has 53 tackles, three interceptions, six passes defended and a touchdown. According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman has allowed a passer rating under 50 when targeted this season.

On Wednesday, Sherman acknowledged that his long road back from the injury makes this Pro Bowl bid a little more special.

“It definitely means a lot,” Sherman said. “Just being able to show yourself you can believe something all you want but to be able to accomplish it and be able to go out there and get it done is a whole different thing. … But I think at the end of the day, the hard work, the perseverance, the hours that I’ve put in, everything came to fruition and I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. Obviously, we have bigger goals at hand, but it’s definitely something to check off the list.”

Checking the Pro Bowl off the list also came with some hefty financial rewards. Sherman earned a $1 million bonus for his selection to the game, which he said he planned to invest in something with “a decent return.”

It also triggered a $1 million raise in his base salary for next year. That $8 million salary is also now set to become fully guaranteed if Sherman is on the roster on April 1.

On Tuesday night, Sherman credited his wife Ashley with coming up with the guarantee during what he described as a “stalemate” in negotiations. In 2018, Sherman was prepared to settle for a one-year deal and then revisit the contract after the year, while the Niners wanted him to sign for longer.

“It was her idea,” Sherman said. “They wanted some security and we wanted some security and they were like ‘If you’re the player we know you are, then it will work out and the incentives will come into play and you will make the money that you deserve to make.’ But I said, ‘Even if I do that, I still won’t have any security for the next year’ and my wife was like, ‘Why don’t you just make the Pro Bowl and the things that trigger those incentives guarantee his next year’s deal because if he’s making the Pro Bowl or he’s making All-Pro, it means he’s playing like the player you guys thought he was.’

“And it worked out perfect.”

With one year left on his deal, Sherman’s contract figures to be a point of conversation for the Niners in the offseason. Asked Wednesday if it was time for an extension, Sherman demurred.

“You’ve got to ask John about that,” Sherman said of general manager John Lynch. “I have enjoyed my time here. I enjoy being a 49er. I enjoy the team, I enjoy the organization, but I don’t get to make those calls. I make a lot of calls and have a lot of control of a lot of things but that’s not my call. But I am grateful that I do get to be here for at least one more year and that part is guaranteed so that will be cool to make another run with these guys.”

Sherman’s imminent return also appeared to be set to open the door to another incentive as Sherman could earn another $1 million for appearing in 90% of the defensive snaps this season. But Sherman said Lynch told him earlier in the year that the team was already going to pay it.

“They had a conversation, they had already given me that incentive,” Sherman said. “It’s always what’s best for the team. I would say I’m a football player and we worked hard to get in the position we’re in and I want to be part of that journey, I want to help us win, and that’s really what all these incentives are based on.”

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Author: ESPN

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